Kale Salad with White Nectarines and Bacon Dressing

Kale grows abundantly in my garden with little effort from me, which I both love and hate.  Kale takes over my garden, robbing sun from thyme and lettuce that sit beneath it’s towering presence.  However, kale growing so monstrous disguises that I am new to gardening.  It displays its’ height by early summer, continuing to grow into autumn.  Encouraged to utilize all that my garden has to offer and armed with the catchphrase, kale is a superfood, I am determined to create some fantastic kale recipes.  Kale is a superfood: full of vitamin K, A, C, manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, fiber, flavonoids, antioxidants, and aids the body in detoxification.  Here is a yummy kale salad recipe packed full of flavor from a bacon dressing and in-season white nectarines.  Peaches or strawberries could make a sweet substitute.

Summertime White Nectarine and Kale Salad with Bacon Dressing

6 cups kale (any variety) coarsely chopped

1 small fennel bulb, core removed, thinly sliced

2 scallions sliced thinly on diagonal

2 small white nectarines slightly underripe, sliced into bite size pieces

3 strips bacon

2-3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

sea salt to taste

dash of red pepper flakes (omit for AIP)

Stack bacon strips one on top of the other and slice into small pieces, about ¼ inch in width.  Add bacon to cool, medium size pan and then place pan over medium heat.  By starting the bacon in a cool pan and letting the bacon warm up with the pan, more fat will be rendered from the bacon making a more delicious dressing.

In a large bowl add: coarsely chopped kale, thinly sliced fennel, thinly sliced scallion, dash of red pepper flakes, and a three finger pinch of salt.  When bacon fat is rendered and bacon is starting to brown, but not quite crispy, remove from heat.  Cool slightly and then pour over salad.  Without burning yourself, with clean hands, mix everything together massaging gently.  This breaks down the kale making it more tender.  When kale is darker in color and tender (taste it to make sure it chews easily) then add white balsamic vinegar and nectarines.  Toss lightly.  Taste.  Adjust salt and vinegar to your liking.  Serve immediately.